1. The wife goes missing. The husband calls the police, and the first thing they do is ask what was she wearing. Either he rattles off exactly what she wore ('grey slacks, wool, with a yellow silk blouse and grey wool sweater") or they go upstairs where he flings open the fully loaded closet and says, "aha, her light green silk blouse is missing, and her dark brown cotton slacks. I dont see her blue walking shoes anywhere, that's odd, she hated them, NEVER wore them..."
If the cops asked my husband what I was wearing I doubt if he could even remember I was clothed. "I think she had bluejeans on, and one of those hooded thingies, maybe yellow, but it's warm, I really don't know"...
2. The mysterious match book--definitely a clue. The Blue Chicken Bar and Grill.
3. A lipstick stain on a wine glass. "That's odd, it's not her color at all. She must have had company".
4. Advertising ashtray--track down the logo to the TaiWan Sushi Bar in Japan (never mind that the story takes place in Cleveland) and you have your killer
5. Searching the house for clues. (this one has me in stitches) It assumes maids, spotless rooms, an attic so barren it only takes two hours to search, and checking every single damn book. yep.
6. Dusting for fingerprints. In a house that has seen innumerable parties, sleep over guests, and endless visits by relatives bringing friends, and the detective will find the odd fingerprint among the welter of finger prints (assuming the maids didnt get there first and buff them away)
7. Mysterious phone calls (in), strange unwarranted moods, behaviors, etc. well he's been terribly moody these past few weeks...
8. The mystery pen with an advertising logo from, say, a chain of motels or an airline (but he HATED flying...)
9. Red Herrings (1)--some writers will throw you a gentle curve, some will buffet you with red herring clues that veer off in all directions and after awhile you don't even try.
10. The hidden movie (dvd, , photographs, etc)
11. The Mysterious Letter
12. Unexplained jewelry in the jewelry box (hey, what's this? I never saw this before...I wonder where she got this, it looks expensive
13. The glance between two people that only the terribly astute and perceptive detective can interpret